Month: June 2020

Life Path

When the lights shut off, and it’s my turn to settle down, my main concern
…promise that you will sing about me“- Kendrick Lamar (Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst)

Two weeks ago, I had a rather interesting conversation with an old friend.

It was an hour-long and we talked about copywriting, maturing, growth and life generally.

For a rookie copywriter who hasn’t had much luck with sales letters, I was really surprised by how much I managed to break down the idea of copywriting to him. I was even more surprised he thought about me when he needed an explanation about copywriting.

He never knew I was a copywriter. And that’s something lots of people (even folks close to me) don’t know either.

I’m just 25 but it feels awkward when I listen to someone narrate an experience in their lives and somehow I know what that experience is like. I can relate!

Sometimes I’m concerned my ability to understand what they are going through might be performative.

Nowadays, it’s such a fulfilling experience for certain people who thrive on calling other people out. For whatever reason, it’s really easy to feel slighted nowadays.

So, even when relating to people, you have to be aware of the fact that you are walking a thin line.

A thin line that can get blurred at the slightest provocation or feeling of injustice.

But then again, when I think about these experiences, a part of me thanks God heartily for them. Maybe this is why old people seem to understand life so much and can offer advice accordingly.

Maybe I’m just an old soul.

Or maybe I’ve had to feel these things just for the greater purpose of understanding and empathy. And help others in any way I can.

Maybe if we all had an idea of what people have been through at certain points in their lives we could understand them better. Or maybe not.

It’s easy to discount experiences which you’ve never had.

That’s why I believe that every single experience I’ve had weren’t just mine alone. They were meant to be shared.

Shared to encourage, inspire, educate, teach and motivate others. And I believe that should be my guiding principle going forward.

I think I finally found my life path.

Happy Fathers Day

Don’t want him to be hated, all the time, judged/Don’t be like your daddy that would never budge” – Kanye West (New Day)

I have no idea why I spent most of this morning listening to New Day off the Watch The Throne album.

Since I could remember I’ve always had a supersized ego although things have really toned down since I turned 16. So, hearing a self-proclaimed egomaniac like Kanye West on a Letter To My Unborn Child-Esque song say something like “I’ll never let my son have an ego/He’ll be nice to everyone, wherever we go” and then go on further to show the dark side of egoism hits quite different.

I remember some years ago, about five or six years, my father bought me a Troy Polamalu Pittsburgh Steelers jersey.

I refused it.

My excuse was that it wasn’t my size, but the truth is we were in the middle of an argument and I was trying to make a point.

I was angry at my father and if I couldn’t put it into words, what could have been better than rejecting a gift? Or so I thought.

What’s funny is in my lifetime I’ve seen very few NFL jerseys that weren’t oversized.

In five weeks time, it will be 3 years since my father died.

Most of the memories I have is him wearing that jersey bent over working. I can’t get it out of my mind.

The biggest sore point for me is my father never finished primary school but he died a day before I wrote my final exams.

For someone who placed a serious premium on education, the strangest punishment fate could hand him was not being alive to see his first child graduate university.

I’ve never been really one to eulogize men because I believe that just like humans even the greatest of men have flaws. But when I think about everything my father had to face in his lifetime; a civil war, limited education, crazy financial responsibility, frail health, being orphaned at a tender age, carrying three generations of family and an entire community on his back, that man is forever a legend in my eyes.

It’s crazy we had a fractious relationship just like most first sons with oversized expectations and responsibilities have with their fathers, but what is ironic is that when I really think about it, I’m my father’s son true and through. We both had a deep-seated love for family, community, football, inability to handle our liquor and spotted bald heads😂

I have very few regrets in life, but one of them is not accepting that jersey. And the fact that we can never watch a Pittsburgh Steelers game together or me dreading to come back home whenever Chelsea didn’t win a match because he would heckle me to no end is quite painful.

Never let ego ruin a good thing.

So, Happy Fathers Day to all fathers living or dead, and especially the young men who were forced to become fathers at a very tender age. I understand because I’m a father nowadays 😁

Happy Fathers Day to Okoro Sunday Innocent. Am I a pussy nigga if I wish you could be alive to hold me like this sometimes? 😭

Coronavirus Or Yahoo Yahoo: Which Is The Bigger Pandemic?

Partially functional, half of me is comfortable/The other half is close to the cliff like Mrs Huckstable” – J. Cole (Too Deep For The Intro)

Nowadays every young Nigerian between the ages of 16-29 knows someone who knows someone who knows someone doing Yahoo.

It’s not even up to six degrees of separation anymore.

It’s not just an elaborate network. It’s a fucking industry!!!!

Oh, y’all thought Nkem Owoh was just spitting rhymes when he said, “419 no be thief, it’s just a game, everybody dey play am?”

Families, religious leaders, business people, hackers, voiceover artists, phishers, scammers, gift card redeemers, skit makers, musicians, BDC operators, people in government, universities, workplaces etc. It’s an ecosystem.

Lots of music artists are fooled by the industry myth that you have to be young to blow. They believe they don’t have time on their hands already. Plus, many of the music artists they idolize and grew up on peddled drugs and bragged about it on songs.

To them, fraud is just like whippin crack by the stove.

After all, Jay Z came out of the crack game alive and is a billionaire nowadays. So, why not?

Plus, the Music industry is a fucking expensive industry.

You could feel the pain on Industry Diary where Erigga said, “You say make I shoot video for 2 million with Clarence, which show upcoming dey do?/How you want make we balance?”

It’s easy for DJ Khaled to say things like “start a record label, and sing yourself.” Na person wey never see food chop talk less of to afford studio session wan sign himself?

Should we talk about laundering fronts?

All the record labels? Or is it Nollywood people that produce movies in a bid to launder money?

Abi the pastors wey dey pray for protection for Yahoo boys? E.K.Gwuru!!!

What EFCC shows us is even smokes and mirrors.

The easiest thing is to blame guys like Naira Marley who are unpretentious at least and label them as bad influences.

No be every Yahoo boy dey carry dreadlocks or dye their hair or wear dirty jeans or get tattoos or wear stud!!!!

Some of the people you are twerking for wey dey barb low cut and fade dey wear suit and tie na premium Yahoo boys. As in deep tissue Yahoo!!!!

Went to a bar one time to watch football when I was living in Ibadan.

Boys choke everywhere dey design fake Wells Fargo cheques.

You have Nigerians even in war-torn countries in the Middle East running scams.

Some people wey dey go school for Cyprus and China sef dey read part-time dey pick full-time.

People move to the abroad or other African countries when picking gets harder here. Abi how the Wells Fargo credit card go work if your guy no get connect for Yankee?

Tech people sef. Web designers. Graphic designers. Red Hat. Black Hat. White Hat. All of them na Yahoo red cap chief. There’s almost no line to blur things anymore.

Even bank staff that release sensitive information to these guys. Attend any bank’s graduate training school and you’ll hear stories.

Yahoo Yahoo even has an apprenticeship system.

Well-to-do people run production lines by picking up young guys and gifting them laptops and Internet data while feeding them and taking care of some of their basic expenses.

In exchange, they collect percentages whenever these guys pick. E be like record label and royalties.

You even have relationships/marriages that are Yahoo Yahoo partnerships.

The husband/boyfriend is the scammer and the wife/girlfriend is the voiceover artist.

You see 15, 16 year olds holding JAMB past questions on one hand, while replying client with the other.

When I moved into where my apartment newly, I introduced myself as a writer to my neighbors who asked what I did for a living.

I don’t even blame them for their skepticism when they come back late at night and see me through my window pressing laptop. Them no dey write Yahoo for face naa 🤷‍♀️

The Vice Principal Admin of the FGC I attended had a favorite saying he always quoted whenever he wanted to announce Friday Labour.

“There is dignity in labour.”

But how can Bro Jide who earns 40k working at GTB while wearing one suit, tie and one shoe tell his friends doing Yahoo that are calling him to hang out at Elegushi during the weekend that there is dignity in labour?

It’s okay to live in denial and act like we haven’t seen any of these things. After all, ignorance is bliss.

The same way women on here say all men know someone or have a friend who has sexually assaulted a woman before and they did nothing about it and we keep denying it is how we will keep denying this Yahoo matter.

And it’s also time we dead the Yahoo Boy narrative. Girls sef na fraudsters too.

I’m black. I’m Igbo. I’m Ebonyi. I’m in the minority of minorities. And so I understand how easy it is to judge people by stereotypes.

It’s easy to say not all Nigerians are fraudsters until you know someone whose entire savings has been wiped by a supposed Nigerian Prince. That’s when you might probably understand.

Even local Yahoo dey. There are black magas too. No be only white people dem dey scam.

As a country, we are currently battling the coronavirus pandemic while battling with an unending governance pandemic.

My biggest prayer is just in case we manage to fix our governance after defeating Corona, make Yahoo Yahoo pandemic no chop us by then.

Because? E. B. Things!

People say things like “It’s not fraud, we are only taking back what they stole from our ancestors”

The same way the African American community used survival to justify selling drugs to each other.

Look at how much it destroyed them. Na fraud go kill us like this!

‘Taking back what they took from your ancestors’ but you don’t only scam white people, you also defraud African Americans and people of other ethnicities too 🤡

The Book of Friends

I got a lot of friends to come up off the strip for me/The same ones that’ll come up off the hip for me – Drake (Crew Love)

I see lots of posts about fake friends and whatsoever and sometimes I’m pressed about what most of you really mean.

I think I’ve had some of the best friends anyone could ask for.

The classic hymn says, “Count your blessings, name them one by one. And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

It’s never always about money or financial opportunities. It’s never always about favours or free lunch or partying. The ambit of friendship can never be defined by these things. It’s sometimes much more.

Other times, it’s so very subtle.

If it wasn’t for my YBNL brothers, I’ll probably be a dropout. No disrespect to all the billionaire dropouts, graduating just meant so much to my mother’s blood pressure.

Smooth gave me my first job after graduation. Had me through the first semester of final year.

Somto gave me my first job after NYSC. It came on the day I passed out.

Somto and Smooth came for my father’s burial. That meant so much to me. Still does.

The kind of confidence Charles, Mbelede and Nonso have in me scares me sometimes. Sometimes when I lose faith, that is my guiding light.

Chinex will probably be the best man at my wedding if he doesn’t misbehave. But since he’s a scumbag, that is entirely possible.

Odera is something else. That’s it.

I write a mean CV nowadays but the first CV I swiped was Christian’s. He also gave me my first side gig.

I probably won’t have gotten that bank job if it wasn’t for him and Vincent’s guidance. He made it possible for me to swim in this Lagos.

Vincent is my brother for life. So many ups and downs, but here we are.

In another life, Ebuka would probably be my father. So much wisdom in one body.

Agbor has been a great friend to me and my family. Ziko, Malachi, Agba. Wonderful guys! Held me down at very uncertain times in my life.

God bless you, Prime!

I and Sequence ran a failed business together. Learnt so much from that adventure.

Kcee is still my sounding board for the most awkward ideas. Our phone calls are therapy sessions.

You can’t spell Ibadan without D in it. D is for Destiny.

I don’t know how I got to NYSC camp by 3am, but if it wasn’t so, I probably wouldn’t have met Frank.

My guy Ay gives me so much hope. Hypeman fi life.

Even though I and Sammy don’t talk nowadays. Knowing him was a very special time of my life.

I wouldn’t get in so much trouble if I didn’t know Agha. I’m sure he’ll say the same thing about me too. That man is my brother.

Joel had me during that rough 21 day patch in January 2020. The time I chose nonconformity over normalcy. He didn’t have any reason to, but he did.

ChuChu and Emma gave me somewhere to crash and get my shit together. I’m eternally grateful.

Icebergz always calls me to hang out whenever we are back home. Probably the coolest guy ever.

I’ve known some of these guys since nursery and primary school or secondary school or university. I met some less than 2 years ago. I don’t even talk to some of them nowadays. But one way or another, my story would be largely incomplete without them.

Maybe you don’t really have fake friends. Maybe you are just ungrateful. Or maybe you don’t give your friends reasons to believe in you.

Or maybe you are just the problem.

What Matters

I don’t want much, fuck, I drove every car/…Some nice cooked food, some nice clean drawers” – JAY Z [Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love)]

Last week, I was two number line points away from DMX levels of aggression.

I snapped at everything and everyone. It wasn’t even possible to hide it.

I mean, you can smell an angry person even through the words they type on social media. You don’t even need a physical confrontation with them.

I was sick and stressed.

For someone who usually goes four or five years without needing to take medication, things like this grind you to a halt.

It’s a subtle reminder of our mortality.

It’s a prompt from the universe asking you to slow down and take a breather.

Things like these are the traffic lights of life. Red – Stop. Yellow – Proceed with caution. Green – Go.

If only we could learn to rest at green sometimes, and not wait till yellow, or in the worst case scenario, red.

But we are driven by a productivity obsessed culture. I’m pretty productivity obsessed as an individual.

Every time I turned on my bed, my mind would run to what I should be doing or a project I could have completed if I was working.

As much as, it is important for a man’s mental, emotional, and physical states that he does something productive with his time and life, work is not everything.

Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?” – Ecclesiastes 1:2‭-‬3 KJV

The above Bible verse is the premise on which the first chapter of Ecclesiastes and possibly the whole book is written. And it rings true, especially in these perilous times.

Well, if everything is vanity, maybe what matters then is choosing your vanity.

There’s evidence that many ailments can be treated by just resting and slowing down. Add good sleep, food, and an exercise regimen.

But even people who are strict with their workout routines still have to rest too.

Rest is priceless.

The field of medicine, whether traditional or orthodox supports this strongly.

Many people are also one serious ailment away from poverty or total and complete financial ruin. I learnt that last week.

I also learned health and peace of mind are massively underrated.

But I had to break down before I did.

And with that, I’ve chosen my vanity.